Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announced his resignation on Friday amid mounting questions and investigations into his fiancée, who was accused of using her position as first lady to enrich herself and benefit private consulting clients. Kitzhaber, 67, was elected to a historic fourth term as governor in November.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's stand against gay marriage crumbled Friday as judges in most counties sided with federal courts rather than their own chief justice, a Republican who once called homosexuality an inherent evil.
By Peg McEntee SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - Lawmakers in Utah's House of Representatives voted narrowly on Friday to approve a bill that would reintroduce the use of firing squads for executions in the state. After a short but contentious discussion, the House voted 39-34 in support of the proposal sponsored by Republican Representative Paul Ray of Clearfield that would allow the use of firing squads amid nationwide concerns about the efficacy of lethal injections. The bill now faces a vote in the state Senate. Utah used firing squads for decades before adopting the use of lethal injections in 2004.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The resignation of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber instantly promoted the liberal Democrat who is next in line to succeed him: the 54-year-old secretary of state who has long been thought to have her eye on Oregon's top elected position.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The suspect in the deaths of three Muslim college students in North Carolina had at least a dozen firearms stashed in his home, according to search warrants released Friday as world leaders decried the shootings.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A mother teaching her 14-year-old daughter to drive was shot in the head and was not expected to survive after an apparent road-rage attack by an angry driver who followed them to their Las Vegas home, the woman's husband said Friday.
Officials in 24 Alabama counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Friday, gay rights advocates said, a day after a U.S. judge ordered one local official to issue licenses to gay couples in accordance with an earlier ruling. The shift means that a majority of Alabama counties are now granting licenses to same-sex couples. It also indicates that defiance to a federal ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban is weakening, as fewer local judges follow a contravening order from the chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court. "These numbers represent a seismic shift in favor of equality and justice," said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, in a statement.
BOSTON (AP) — Exasperated New Englanders still digging out from three major storms that left 6 feet or more of snow in many areas are bracing for what's expected to be another punishing blast of winter this weekend.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A 151-year-old state law that reportedly drew its inspiration from the legendary duel between former Vice President Aaron Burr and former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton might soon be taken off the books.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Mexican government has formed an alliance of produce industry groups that will work on enforcing wage laws and improving housing, schools and health care for laborers at export farms following a newspaper's investigation of abuses at agribusinesses supplying major U.S. supermarket chains and restaurants.
By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California public health officials have confirmed three more cases of measles in an outbreak that began in late December, bringing to 113 the total number of people believed to have been infected in the state. Health officials in Arizona, where seven cases of measles have been documented, said the outbreak would likely be considered over in that state if no further infections were reported over the weekend. Across the United States, more than 150 people have been diagnosed with measles, many of them linked to an outbreak that authorities believe began when an infected person from out of the country visited Disneyland in late December. The California Department of Public Health said 39 of the 113 people who contracted measles in the state were believed to have been exposed while visiting Disneyland.
DENVER (AP) — As the Colorado theater shooting case moves closer to trial, taxpayer-funded attorneys for defendant James Holmes have revealed little about their case, including how much it has cost to defend him.
Police in Warminster Township have arrested the man who they say smashed his way into a convenience store and stole lottery tickets.
A man in Havertown, Pa. was surprised to receive a long-lost love letter that was mailed by his grandfather to his grandmother more than 70 years ago.
Houston Fire Department arson investigators are probing a blaze that destroyed a building at an Islamic institute in the city on Friday, officials said. There has been no official determination yet of what caused the fire that hit the Quba Islamic Institute in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, fire officials said, adding no one was injured in the incident. The Texas office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for the fire that the group sees as an apparent arson attack. The Houston fire comes days after a gunman shot dead three young Muslims near the University of North Carolina, riling Muslim activists who have demanded that U.S. state and federal authorities investigate the detained suspect for possible hate crimes.
The Mexican government is condemning this week's fatal shooting by police in Washington state of a Mexico-born man who had thrown rocks at officers in an incident captured on video. Mexico's Foreign Affairs Ministry called for an exhaustive investigation of the killing of Antonio Zambrano-Montes in the city of Pasco, about 200 miles (320 km) southeast of Seattle, and said it is offering legal advice to relatives of the victim, who was originally from Michoacan state. The shooting comes amid heightened tension over policing in the United States after incidents including the killings of two unarmed black men last year by white police officers in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson and New York City. "Mexico's government strongly condemns incidents in which lethal force is used disproportionately," the ministry said in a statement late on Thursday.
By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illinois' comptroller will not implement an anti-union executive order issued by the state's new Republican governor earlier this week, the state's attorney general's office said on Friday. Leslie Munger, a fellow Republican who was appointed by Governor Bruce Rauner, is following current law in not enforcing Rauner's order to eliminate "fair share" fees for about 6,500 state employees, said a spokeswoman for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. "We agree with the comptroller's assessment and actions in that fair share fees are applicable under current law," said Natalie Bauer, spokeswoman for Madigan, a Democrat.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Does Google help criminals by allowing its search engine to lead to pirated music or by having its autocomplete function suggest illegal activities?
(Reuters) - An Oregon man pleaded guilty on Friday to being an accessory after the fact for helping people linked to a suicide bomb attack on the headquarters of Pakistan's intelligence service in 2009 that killed about 30 people, court records showed. Reaz Qadir Khan, a naturalized U.S. citizen living in Portland, admitted in a plea entered in U.S. District Court that he provided advice and financial aid to the suicide bomber's Maldives-based wives following the attack, knowing that such assistance would hinder and prevent their capture. Khan, a 51-year-old wastewater treatment plant operator and married father-of-three originally from Pakistan, was arrested in 2013 on an indictment which accused him of using email and intermediaries to consult with and provide financial support to the Maldivian bomber, Ali Jaleel, and his family. The indictment said the conspiracy began in 2005 and continued on through the May 27, 2009, attack on Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence headquarters in Lahore and into the following month.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a former Wells Fargo Securities investment banker, his stockbroker friend and a network of friends and family were sentenced to prison after using insider information to pocket $11 million.